Read: Isaiah 2:1-5
[The Lord] will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Our King can turn tanks into tractors
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We’ve all seen swords in movies and TV shows. Swords were weapons of war used to hurt or kill your enemy. We don’t see plowshares as often. Plowshares were a tool used on farms. They were wedges of metal that oxen would pull through a field to break up the dirt so the farmer could plant his crop. Plowshares were used in peace.
So do you understand Isaiah’s picture? God would bring so much peace that people would turn their swords into plowshares. They wouldn’t have use for weapons anymore, so things that were created to kill could instead be tools used to grow food. Today, it would be like saying that God would turn tanks into tractors or use machine guns to spray water out onto the fields to irrigate the crops. That’s all a way of saying that when the Savior came, he would stop our fighting and give us peace with each other.
That’s one of the things Jesus does as he takes away our sins. When we hear his Word and believe it, he leads us to apologize when we argue with or war against one another. He gives us the ability to forgive each other. That’s part of what it means to walk in the light of the Lord: we can be honest about the way we hurt each other, and we can remind each other that Jesus has died for those sins. We’ll never do that perfectly on this side of heaven, but every time we do, we beat our swords into plowshares and get a little bit more of the peace God describes. Husbands and wives can love each other; brothers and sisters can forgive each other. God can fix the broken relationship with your friend.
Can you picture that peace? Sometimes it seems impossible to think that a big problem can be healed! Maybe it seems as impossible as someone using a tank to plow their field or a machine gun to water it. But that’s what your King can do!
Dear King Jesus, you know the problems in my life. You know the people that I’m angry at or feel hurt by, and you know the things I’ve done that have hurt others. Use the light of your Word to help me be honest about those sins. And when we confess our sins to each other and tell each other of your forgiveness, bless us with real peace. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What’s a plowshare?
- Isaiah describes God as a judge. Why do you think he’d be a good judge?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why is “war” a symbol of the pain and trouble that sin brings into the world?
- Isaiah describes God bringing peace like someone turning swords into farming equipment. Come up with your own picture of God turning something dangerous into something helpful.
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Give an example of a time “walking in the light of the Lord” helped you find peace with someone you were angry at.
- Do you think this passage is promising a time where there will be world peace? Why or why not?